The New Wine Press vol 26 no 1 September 2017 - Page 14

pbmr, continued from page 11 one who listens and the one who shares, the one who gives hope and the one searching for hope. I was a psychologist when I talked to people about their lives, problems, and successes, especially when I was just lis- tening; a patient when the listening was too overwhelm- ing and I needed support myself. Student: all the time, when I had language problems, when I was asking about culture and customs, when I wanted to understand the stories of people I met, and when I did not know what to order in a restaurant. Teacher, when people asked me: “How is it in Poland?” “What is your story?” “Does your nation still feel the effects of war?” and finally “Where is Poland?” I was a sheep who knew she was in the right place and in the right flock, who felt good about other sheep, regardless of whether they were black or white, young or old. I was a shepherd’s helper who was sitting at the back of the clearing and watching the sheep, thinking intensely about what exactly was missing and helping to see what at first sight I missed. I was also the one who listened when people shared their stories: stories of a brutally murdered beloved child, of a 17-year-old boy being sentenced to death in prison, of a newborn who died after not receiving proper care after birth be- cause of his race, and whose body was put in a peanut butter jar. I heard the story of a black father who loved and cared for his son but whose rights to see his son were taken away by the white mother. I listened to the sto- ries of many people who are constantly traumatized, boys who have been shot several times by the age of 15, who at the same age have become fathers bravely educating their children, boys who have seen so much blood shed that this image will never disappear from their eyes. I heard the story of a woman whose husband was murdered and she asked the court for the smallest amount of punishment for the perpetrator and the story of a Puerto Rican man who had been shot 15 times, paralyzed, and today is walking once again on his own legs and working to make the area safer. I listened to the story of a young man who partici- pated in a brutal murder and today is considered a member of the murdered boy’s family. I listened to so many stories of people who have gone so far and have come back hopeful. 12 • The New Wine Press • September 2017 I was also the one who shared—with what I had, whether I considered it rich or poor. I was trying to be the one giving hope: hope that life can be beauti- ful, that not every man/woman/child need struggle with such pain and fear, that everyone deserves a good life because we were called to it, because God created all people to share the beautiful and the good and know happiness. And finally, I was at pbmr center when two people were shot in a nearby alley and lay bleeding on the ground. Their cry was not a metaphorical “blood scream,” which we try to hear in Poland. Their sound was the voice of true, untreated suffering, which re- sulted in surgery and prolonged paralysis. continued on page 14 Summary, continued from page 11 points are almost missing from our sharing like finances and sexuality, how members through forma- tion can best internalize our charisms, ministry of the Word, being best practices witnesses of the gospel. There was very little reflection on what leadership means for us. When people see us, they should see a series of behaviors: Attentiveness to formation of com- munity life, living in mission houses, living in commu- nion of shared work, sharing finances, and honoring sacred spaces. All day Friday was a plenary session to collate and write a draft document on community life as you will find elsewhere in this month’s New Wine Press. Writing a provocative and inviting document with the input of so many challenged the participants to be community. Typical of our history, the finished piece has neither legislative force, nor is it any kind of fin- ished product to be shelved or filed away. We are defi- nitely a group in process constantly. For some, it says it all, yet for others not saying enough. Can we live with this? Or more importantly can we move through and beyond this into something altogether new?  Reflection, continued from page 12 time at the Symposium I have a greater sense of con- nection with the larger Precious Blood Community than I ever had. I look forward to what the future holds as each of us reflects upon what the future holds for the Community. 